Toxic chemicals threaten our health

More than half of all Americans live in places with unsafe levels of air pollution, which causes heart attacks, asthma attacks, emergency room visits, hospital admissions and even deaths each year.

Studies show that one in six women of childbearing age has enough mercury in her bloodstream to put her child at risk of health effects should she become pregnant. This means that more than 689,000 out of the 4.1 million babies born every year could be exposed to dangerous levels of mercury.

The consequences are serious: Children who are exposed to even low-dosage levels of mercury in the womb can have impaired brain functions, including verbal, attention, motor control and language deficits, and lower IQs. When these children are monitored at ages 7 and 14, these impairments still exist — suggesting that the damage caused by mercury may be irreversible.

Mercury contaminates the Great Lakes

Coal-fired power plants spew hundreds of thousands of pounds of toxic mercury into our air every year, which falls to earth in the form of rain and contaminates rivers, lakes and streams.

Wildlife that is exposed to mercury may develop more slowly, have reduced fertility, or even die, depending on the level of exposure. And it doesn’t take much: Scientists found that a gram of mercury — about a drop — deposited in a mid-sized lake in Wisconsin over the course of a year was enough to account for all of the mercury subsequently found in that lake’s fish population.

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, mercury impairs 3,781 bodies of water across the country, and 6,363,707 acres of lakes, reservoirs, and ponds in the United States are contaminated by mercury pollution.

Here in Michigan, dangerous levels of mercury keep much of the Great Lakes region off-limits to fishing.

With your help, we can save 46,000 lives

Recently, the EPA moved ahead with efforts to significantly reduce mercury, soot and smog pollution, announcing historic new emissions standards that combined could save 46,000 lives a year. Unfortunately, polluters and their allies in Congress launched a coordinated attack to block these critical safeguards.

We’re working closely with our allies in the public health community, lobbying key senators, and rallying thousands of activists stand up for public health.

It won’t be easy, but if enough of us speak out, we can drown out the coal industry lobbyists and make sure that the EPA is allowed to do its job and protect public health.


Clean Air Updates

News Release | Environment Michigan

Clean Car Standards are a Win for Michigan

New clean car standards proposed by the Obama administration will save the average Michigan family $240 a year at the gas pump in 2030 and bring thousands of jobs to the state, according to an analysis outlined today by Environment Michigan and allies.  The report, from the Union of Concerned Scientists and the Natural Resources Defense Council, was outlined just days before Detroit is set to host one of three national public hearings on the new proposed clean car standards

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Report | Union of Concerned Scientists & NRDC

Saving Money At The Pump

Making our cars and trucks go farther on a gallon of gasoline is a powerful way to save Americans more than $44 billion annually at the gas pump, reduce carbon pollution, and cut oil dependence.

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News Release | Environment Michigan

New Report: Strong Energy Efficiency Policies in Energy/Climate Legislation Would Save Michigan Families $211 per Year, Create 19,600 Jobs

A new national report finds that Michigan households would save an average of $211 per year and 19,600 sustainable jobs would be created in the state over the next ten years if Congress acts now to include strong energy efficiency improvements in energy and climate legislation. The report, entitled Energy Efficiency in the American Clean Energy Security Act of 2009: Impacts of Current Provisions and Opportunities to Enhance the Legislation, was released by Environment Michigan and the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.  The efficiency provisions would prevent 10 million metric tons of global warming emissions, this is the equivalent of removing the pollution from over 1.8 million cars from the road for a year.   

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News Release | Environment Michigan

Record-breaking transit ridership saved fuel equal to the amount consumed by 61,800 cars in Michigan last year

In 2008, people in Michigan saved 35.6 million gallons of gasoline by riding transit in record numbers – the amount consumed by 61,800 cars in Michigan. Transportation is responsible for more than two-thirds of our dependence on oil, and about one-third of our carbon dioxide pollution Environment Michigan outlined in their new report “Getting On Track: Record Transit Ridership Increases Energy Independence.”

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News Release | Environment America

Plug-in Electric Cars Can Lower Global Warming Emissions, Oil Consumption and Unhealthy Air Pollution

Increasing America’s use of  plug-in electric (PEV) and plug in hybrid vehicles (PHEV) would dramatically reduce emissions that cause global warming and air pollution and would curb our dependence on oil, according to a new white paper released today by Environment America, at the North American International Auto Show. 

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